If Queensland had a number-one fan, it would be Shelley Winkel. And if the Sunshine State wasn’t hot before, it’s certainly hot now – as in, a hot-ticket destination.
The state is alive and the locals are taking advantage of pretty much restriction-free travel.
And Brisbane is seriously buzzing right now. But go an hour and a half outside of the city and you’ll encounter some of the prettiest countryside and coolest people in the state.
We asked Shelley for her top 25 Scenic Rim lunch spots – just over an hour’s drive from Brisbane. Here’s where she says to go.
- The Shed Café. Drive through a working olive grove to get to a stunning shed set high on a hill near Mt Barney. Keep some pennies aside for their glorious giftware/ homewares shop! Open weekends only.
- The Story Tree, Boonah. A cabinet of food to die for! Think amazing homemade sausage rolls, decadent chocolate brownies and wholesome quiche and salad. Disconnect with that latest paperback on a comfy couch.
- Canungra Hub. A cute and quirky café in the heart of Canungra dishing up home-baked, wholesome and healthy food! Best yet, it’s within walking distance to a raft of quirky country shops.
- VK Everydays, Beaudesert. Get away from the hustle and the anxiety of city life and relax in a courtyard out the back. Great coffee, delicious menu featuring local food.
- Valley Kitchen, Kooralbyn. Kanga spotting on the way to Kooralbyn followed by delicious home-made food and divine coffee at Valley Kitchen.
- Lovett at Kalbar. Make friends with salad! Lindsay makes the most incredible salads featuring the freshest local ingredients. Now that you’ve saved those joules, bust out on the delicious sweet treats, too!
- Hummingbirds Natural Pantry & Cafe, Boonah. Treat your body to a healthy lunch centred around whole foods. While you’re there, stock up on bulk whole foods and environmentally friendly cleaning products, skincare and more.
- Summer Land Camels, Harrisville. Camel cuisine anyone? The farm café serves up the best camel concoctions combined with local Scenic Rim produce, all set against stunning scenery. And, of course, you get to meet the camels.
- Tamborine Mountain Coffee Plantation. Home to the best Australian-grown coffee. Time your visit with a plantation tour on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at noon, then kick back for lunch.
- Flying Bean Cafe, Beechmont. Unbeatable views down into the Numinbah Valley. Watch the hang gliders take off from across the road, and tuck into delicious homemade fare.
- Royal Hotel Kalbar. A country pub in the heritage town of Kalbar. Take in pretty rural views from their newly renovated deck and tuck into some hearty pub grub. Check out the local shops in Kalbar before you pop into lunch.
- Royal Hotel Harrisville. The oldest pub in Harrisville, established in 1875 as the Harrisville Inn. Kick back and relax with the friendly locals.
- Roadvale Pub. A classy, historic country pub in the rural village of Roadvale.
- Mt Alford Hotel. She’s a rustic old pub, but what she lacks in looks she makes up for with personality, good old-fashioned country fare and cold beer on tap.
- Scenic Rim Brewery, Mt Alford. Mike’s craft brews and Wendy’s Dutch-inspired food are the perfect combo. Book yourself a table and have a couple of cold ones and a bite to eat. (And it’s just across from Mt Alford Hotel – how convenient for a small-town pub crawl!)
- St Bernards Hotel, Tamborine Mountain. The views are simply breathtaking, out to Guanaba Gorge, northern Gold Coast and Stradbroke Island. Meet the two resident Saint Bernards, Molly and Syrah.
- Canungra Hotel. It’s tucked in behind the shops and playground at Canungra, but you can’t miss this beautiful historic pub. Great food, cold beers and even accommodation if you have one too many.
- Rathdowney Hotel. If you love a good rissole and mash or mixed grill, this is the pub for you.
- Dugandan Hotel, Boonah. A classic Queensland Country Pub. Started as a general store in 1886 and the rest is history. Lunch under the shady trees out the back while the kids enjoy the playground.
- Railway Hotel, Beaudesert. Discover their great steaks. Story about recent revamp here: https://www.investscenicrim.com.au/railway-hotel-revamp-brightens-beaudesert/
- Bearded Dragon Hotel, Tamborine. A country pub that’s gone animal! Think cane toad racing, reptile and crocodile shows and heaps of live music. Entertainment plus.
- The Overflow Estate 1895, Wyaralong. This little gem is tucked beside the lake halfway between Beaudesert and Boonah. The menu is divine, featuring local produce expertly prepared by local food ambassador Kate Raymont and The Overflow’s own wines. Dine at their cellar door, overlooking Lake Wyaralong. You’ll feel like you’re on an inland island.
- Canungra Valley Vineyards. Have a picnic by the creek. You can even walk an alpaca. (Mountview Alpacas is on the same property.)
- Mason Wines, Tamborine Mountain. Their menu features heaps of beautiful local produce. Dine on the deck, overlooking a big open green space.
- Kooroomba, Mt Alford. This is a very special dining experience and you must book ahead! A sumptuous seasonal menu by chef Daniel Groneberg, featuring the finest local ingredients, and spectacular views across the Fassifern Valley.
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